[NetBehaviour] Reminder: CfP: Aarhus Workshop on 'Making “World Machines”: Discourse, Design and Global Technologies for Greater-than-self Issues'

Ann Light ann.light at gmail.com
Tue May 12 14:47:09 CEST 2015

*Making “World Machines”: Discourse, Design and Global Technologies for
Greater-than-self Issues - workshop in Aarhus, 17th August 2015*

Call for Participation

Workshop website:

Tired of seeing sharing and caring monetized into apps and services? Tired
of the limited visions for participation in much citizen science? Tired of
feeling that technology can only worsen the problem, not offer
creative solutions to resource management as well as citizen involvement
for the benefit of the collective? Then come and experiment for the day at
a workshop on ‘*Making “World Machines”: Discourse, Design and Global
Technologies for Greater-than-self Issues’* at the Aarhus *Critical
Alternatives* conference, August 2015.

This one-day workshop introduces the concept of *world machines*—a new
archetype for socio-technical systems, drawing together new computational
powers with a social agenda of cross-world collaboration in resistance to
dominant market rhetoric. Specifically, we consider opportunities to
connect, sense and infer and apply these to crowd-sourcing public
engagement with shared world issues.

*World machines* give people access to the means to sample, test and report
on their circumstances and what they find (or can sense with tools), as
well as to locate each other, analyze the meanings of the data and link up
for action upon what is found. They offer potential to scale and map the
local and global, with shared tools and outcomes. They rely on a range of
motivations for use, but no intrusive incentives, such as many sharing
economy initiatives use (eg Airbnb, Uber or Taskrabbit, which monetize
help-giving) and they may also specifically embed a rhetoric of shared or
greater-than-self issues.

We will use the idea of *world* *machines* to take a critical approach and
examine ‘what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to
change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable
practical goals for social transformation’ (as Horkheimer defined Critical
Theory) in the context of developing and deploying networked technology.

The day will combine theoretical aspects of *world machines*, such as
considering what a political entity of this kind might seek to do, and
practical exercises that focus on design and use, followed by a review of
learning from our work, with a view to exploring viability and examining
what a related research agenda might involve.

Relevant workshop topics

We would like to hear from those who are already constructing and
maintaining *world machines* as well as those interested in their
potential. Any empirical or discursive contribution, dealing with social,
environmental, economic, cultural, spiritual, managerial or political
aspects, will be relevant. People with backgrounds in HCI and Design may be
joined by artists, technologists, political scientists and cultural
theorists. Organisers’ interests include the work of Richard Buckminster
Fuller, Brian Holmes, Jane Bennett, Félix Guattari and Maria Puig de la
Bellacasa among others, and we would welcome further perspectives and
reference points. In particular, we will be looking at ecological
approaches in the broadest sense of design for linking up systems and
inspiring awareness of our relations in the world.

What to do now?

Prospective participants should submit a position paper of up to 3 pages
(using the SigCHI format here:
which focuses on theoretical or practical aspects (or both) and
demonstrates a willingness to engage with both political discussion and
hands-on making. Please send your papers to [designsharechi at gmail.com].

Important dates

   - Position papers due: May 20th
   - Results made known: May 31st
   - Camera ready papers for website: July 1st
   - Workshop: August 18th 2015, Aarhus


*Ann Light, University of Sussex*

*Jeffrey Bardzell, Indiana University*

*Shaowen Bardzell, Indiana University*

*Geoff Cox, Aarhus University*

*Jonas Fritsch, IT University Copenhagen*

*Lone Koefoed Hansen, Aarhus University*

Please contact us at [designsharechi at gmail.com] if you have any questions
about the workshop and/or to send your submissions.
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